Moving Right Along

Team USA (taken from People Magazine’s website)
The time has finally come, gentle folk, to move from the glory of the games, to the grit of fear and loathing on the campaign trail 2012. 
Obama VS Romney
Obama Vs. Romney (Taken from Caglecartoons.com)
If you haven’t already, the tune we’re all singing now is ‘let’s get political’ and fast. For some, this period in the election cycle can never come too soon. I miss political seasons in America. You don’t seem to get that intensity over here, waking up and poring over figures and gallup polls whilst you pour your morning coffee. Voters are concerned here, but oddly enough, the result feels a bit like a foregone conclusion. In America, for every election since Bush’s first, the excitement, the intensity, the levels of vitriol flung with venomous rage between people from particular camps has been just thrilling. I feel like it started with Bush, our most divisive president, a superlative that I have often wonder if he takes pride in wearing around the world. 
The presidential race and American political attitudes in general puts me in mind of a much more local anecdote from two summers ago when, on a visit back to the homestead, sitting outside on the back deck, enjoying a beer or coffee with my father, he asks me, with wonderfully sincere innocence, but also more than a hint of paranoia, ‘Do you ever see any of those Muslims in London?’ 
I nearly spat out my Bud Lime (Why oh why try for the Corona drinkers’ market) before I checked myself and remembered I’d been living in one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world in London, shoulder to shoulder every day with people of all creed and colo(u)r, even those whose beliefs are easily vilified by the American media. 
I patiently explained to both my parents that one of my best students was a Muslim named Hamza, to which my mother’s gloriously provincial, and blusteringly racist response was, ‘Well, I’ll be darned. I guess if he’s studying hard he must not be making bombs at night.’ No no. She was serious. 
American political attitudes are like that though, either wonderfully open or wonderfully ignorant and sometimes ignorance is bliss. 
On this and many other events in the political season will I have much to say, but for now, The American Londoner is off to Ireland, where my wife is from, to thatch cottages and drink Guinness and sing shanties until I embarrass myself atop the spire at the top of O’Connell Street. ( I don’t want to disabuse you of any romantic notions of Ireland). I will be rejoining the nonline community though for the two weeks, not because Ireland is still in the dark days of pre-internet developing civilization, but because my mother-in-law refuses to get a computer and data package fees when abroad are tyrannical. But I like being unplugged. It’s shocking how much conversation gets had.

Emigrants leave Ireland
Bon Voyage (taken from the Salem Press Website)

Before I go, I wanted to point out, I am now on a brilliant website called Internations.org, connecting different expat communities through blogging and a variety of social media. Check me out here.

See you in September.

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